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DOJ charges 18 in COVID health care frauds totaling $490M

Written on Apr 26, 2023

The Department of Justice announced that the agency has charged 18 criminal defendants, including doctors and testing suppliers, in the largest-yet enforcement action against COVID-19 health care fraud schemes that resulted in over $490 million in false federal billing. 

The enforcement comes after federal pandemic-related health care subsidies spurred the DOJ to create a COVID-19 fraud task force agency in May 2021 to crack down on industry fraud. 

So far, the agency has charged 53 defendants and convicted 20 in the past three years of health care-related COVID-19 schemes that cost the federal government over $784 million in funds, according to the DOJ. 

Multiple defendants were charged with defrauding the COVID-19 uninsured program, a federal program that reimburses providers for pandemic-related services provided to uninsured patients. 

The agency also announced charges against medical professionals who forged COVID-19 vaccination cards.  

Providers were also targeted for fraud under the federal provider relief fund enacted under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act in March 2020.